Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In this world....

He sat pondering, if things would've been different, "how things would've been different" had he overcome that one last obstacle. The one that separates men from the boys, winners from the runners. Now all he could see across the table was a battered soul like his own, jaded by the familiar journey. He reflects upon the fact that its a voyage everyone has to go through. Yet, a few of them manage to enjoy the journey itself. He questions why he couldn't be like those happy people and sees the question mirrored in the eyes looking at him from across the table.

He knew those eyes, had seen, been seen by them and memorized each minute detail of those eyes which looked worn out beyond their age. He silently soaked up the knowledge of what they had gone through, what they were going through. Yet, not a word had been spoken, not since they parted ways fifteen years ago. Almost half their life they'd been away, yet the memories of the other half continued to haunt them. Bittersweet memories which he'd vigilantly stomped upon each time they started showing life, now overwhelmed him.

"He hadn't fail. Not according to the people that mattered", he kept telling himself. By all accounts, he'd been quite successful, respected, admired perhaps even envied by many. Yet, he couldn't but give in to the feeling that he'd failed somewhere, sometime. Looking up, he saw
tears welling up in the eyes. He couldn't decide if they were the tears of relief when two castaways meet in the middle of nowhere or if they were the tears of anger for having left them behind. After all in the earlier stretch of this journey, they were companions, companions who understood each other better than themselves.

He understood the pain in those eyes but knew little of the details. They spoke of the bad marriage, scavenging relatives, uncaring partners and endless seas of the loneliness. They longed for a time in the past when it wasn't so bad. He shudders as he thinks of his lonely sojourn in distant lands. He gathers the courage to speak at last, but words dry up in his throat. He wonders if he could atone for the cowardice of the past, if 'late' is really better than never and if having loved and lost is really better than never having loved at all. There he sits and tries for one last time, turning back time, trying to vomit the words he knew he couldn't bring himself to speak fifteen years ago.

Sad Lisa

She hangs her head and cries in my shirt.
She must be hurt very badly.
Tell me what's making you sadly?
Open your door - don't hide in the dark.
You're lost in the dark - you can trust me.
'Cause you know that's how it must be.

Lisa - Lisa, sad Lisa - Lisa.

Her eyes like windows trickelin�rain
Upon the pain getting deeper.
Though my love wants to relieve her.
She walks alone from wall to wall.
Lost in her hall, she can't hear me.
Though I know she likes to be near me.

Lisa - Lisa, sad Lisa - Lisa.

She sits in a corner by the door.
There must be more I can tell her.
If she really wants me to help her.
I'll do what I can to show her the way.
And maybe one day I will free her.
Though I know no one can see her.

Lisa - Lisa, sad Lisa - Lisa.
- Cat stevens

Monday, October 22, 2007

Slow news day

I understand the bombing in karachi was important, but did we need confirmation that Bhutto was safely escorted out of the place from every tom dick and harry even after the same thing had been reported by innumerable people who'd been interviewed?

Atleast that could be considered pivotal, but the Bobby Jindal euphoria? He claims quite clearly that he doesn't consider himself an Indian and doesn't consider himself a representative of the Indian section in the U.S, and still the media goes ga-ga over his election. On top of that, he's a conservative "against abortion and supports continued efforts in Iraq". Ah, and how can one forget the "Mahendra singh dhoni bowled over by deepika" and "Saif and kareena ...blh blah " aired once every five minutes for the entire day.

Of course, the news anchors themselves seem quite unable to lend any respectability to the news what so ever. Reminds me of a curious encounter with a couple in a dhaba( well not exactly an encounter). Turned out the lady wanted to become a journalist/reporter of some sort and the gentleman had been giving her gyaan of how she needed to work on her kannada skills and should learn to handle herself better and so on. Ofcourse she was put off by the direct criticism and the story went something like :
One pitcher of beer: 200Rs,
Being drunk enough not to know you're criticizing your girl friend: 500 Rs
Kiss and make up : priceless

Throw away your television

Throw away your television
Time to make this clean decision
Master waits for it's collision now
It's a repeat of a story told
It's a repeat and it's getting old

Throw away your television
Make a break big intermission
Recreate your super vision now
It's a repeat of a story told
It's a repeat and it's getting old

Renegades with fancy gauges
Slay the plague for it's contagious
Pull the plug and take the stages
Throw away your television now

Throw away your television
Take the noose off your ambition
Reinvent your intuition now
It's a repeat of a story told
It's a repeat and it's getting old


Throw away your television
Salivate to repetition
Levitate this ill condition now
It's a repeat
-Red Hot chili Peppers

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bicycle diaries

A second trip of 100+ km on my trusty bike(thats bicycle for you) in as many weeks has given me time to be philosophical and reason for my friends to think I have a strong masochistic streak.

Firstly details out of the way - Pearly valley or Muthyala Maduvu can be reached from bangalore in two ways. It is about 45 km from Silk board junction in Bangalore if one takes the hosur road.Go past Electronic city and you'll reach a turning into Annekal. Going past Annekal, there's only one road to follow, until you reach a "Y" junction. Path to the right takes to Pearl Valley and left reconnects to Hosur.

The second way is to go straight up Bannerghatta road past the wildlife sanctuary and there's only one road to follow that leads to Annekal. It looked as if it was going to pour down quite heavily on the morning of this trip and with choices in hand, I was confused between the two ways and ended up going half way along Bannerghatta road and then switching back to CSB. All in all covered ~60km on the way to pearl valley. Had a jolly good time and came back by the second route with the journey taking nearly 6 hrs. I had my share of epiphanies during the course of these two trips, which I thought to record here:

1) Even if you feel that you are under the weather a little, go on right ahead, fortune favours the brave. It might not rain and the clouds might just do you a favour by keeping out the sun.
2) Uphill slopes and downhill slopes are common on the road.
3) Every uphill is followed by a downhill slope.
4) Tougher the "uphill", smoother(and therefore more exhilarating) is the "downhill"
5) A lot of "uphill slopes" that seem daunting at first glance aren't really that difficult to overcome once you start cycling up them.
6) If you are on a nice comfortable downhill slope, remember that the next uphill is just around the corner. So don't sit on your ass but start pedaling little by little if you want to make it up without too much difficulty
7) You can have an all flat road, but it isn't too much fun. The best road is one with a nice combination of uphills followed by downhills (to bring in the exhilaration) followed by quiet flat parts(when you can sit back and relax a little)
8) Winds can heal your exhaustion when downhill, but can hurt you really bad when you are uphill.

Bicycle Race

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

You say black I say white
You say bark I say bite
You say shark I say hey man
Jaws was never my scene
And I dont like star wars
You say rolls I say royce
You say God give me a choice
You say lord I say christ
I dont believe in peter pan
Frankenstein or superman
All I wanna do is

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah!
Fat bottomed girls theyll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah
On your marks get set go
Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race
Bicycle bicycle bicyi want to ride my bicycle
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
Bicycle race


Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Odyssey

What started of as an attempt to read James Joyce's Ulysses ended in me reading "The Odyssey" in all its glory( a translation of course). Although evolutionary psychologists want to pen down everything we do or every behavioural pattern we show on our need to survive, to be the fittest, works like these tell you that things weren't always the same as they are now. Even if we give in to the idea that mythological epics like these and more(read: mahabharata, ramayana...) are mere fiction or perhaps allegorical ellipses, even a fictional work tells one a lot about the social attitudes in existence in those times.

Aside : Am I the only one who dreams (or is it has nightmares) dreams that belong not to me but to the characters and to the plot in the book that I've just read and enjoyed(or in some cases reading and enjoying)?

Tales of Brave Ulysses

You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever,
But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun.

And the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids,
And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses:
How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing,
For the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips.

And you see a girl's brown body dancing through the turquoise,
And her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea.
And when your fingers find her, she drowns you in her body,
Carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind.

The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter.

Her name is Aphrodite and she rides a crimson shell,
And you know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands
With tales of brave Ulysses; how his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing.

The tiny purple fishes run lauging through your fingers,
And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Life imitates art

Been reading John Mortimer's political sattire "The sound of trumpets". It's a hilarious read with all the makings of morning's breaking news, or as the news channels like to call it "the top story". When works like these make their appearance in art, one has to wonder if the question to be asked half the time is if art imitated life or life imitates art?

Description of one of the characters in the book goes :
"She also grew up with a beauty which provoked dangerous and anarchic thoughts in men,but her quiet certainty on almost every subject cooled and often disconcerted them. What her friends and contemporaries called "having sex" or even 'a bit of a fling' she would call 'a commitment', a word which produced serious thoughts,and sometimes hesitation, in the men whom she took a fancy to and who found her at the first glance extremely desirable. "

And one wonders if this turn-off factor when a woman is smarter than self is an inherent response or a learnt response. Making peace with the smart lady that may perchance come across this post, there are some people who disagree with this mainstream line of thinking making them the deviants.

Imitation of Life

Charades, pop skill
Water hyacinth, named by a poet
Imitation of life
Like a koi in a frozen pond
Like a goldfish in a bowl
I don't want to hear you cry

That's sugarcane that tasted good
That's cinnamon, that's Hollywood
Come on, come on, no-one can see you try

You want the greatest thing
The greatest thing since bread came sliced
You've got it all, you've got it sized

Like a Friday fashion show teenager
Freezing in the corner
Trying to look like you don't try

That's sugarcane that tasted good
That's cinnamon, that's Hollywood
Come on, come on, no-one can see you try

No-one can see you cry

That's sugarcane that tasted good
That's freezing rain, that's what you could
Come on, come on, no-one can see you cry

This sugarcane
This lemonade
This hurricane, I'm not afraid
Come on, come on, no-one can see me cry

This lightning storm
This tidal wave
This avalanche, I'm not afraid
Come on, come on, no-one can see me cry

That's sugarcane that tasted good
That's who you are, that's what you could
Come on, come on, no-one can see you cry

That's sugarcane that tasted good
That's who you are, that's what you could
Come on, come on, no-one can see you cry

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Comes in different shapes and sizes. Having bunked on friday and used that time to wander around bangalore on my bicycle, I decided I would go ahead and bite the bullet on saturday, i.e do a cycling trip to Nandi hills and back. ( From my house it probably is ~70 km one way).

But slight fever on friday night was going to put an end to this plans it seemed like, Until I remembered my friend Adi whining about how much of a "loser-aaps" it would be that I would make the trip on a cycle whereas they struggled to get there even on their bikes (In their defense, they returned without reaching the hilltop once because of the cold at 4a.m and because they were a 'little' high). Thanks to that statement, which I desperately wanted to prove right :p I started on the trip a little low on endurance scale, but high on spirits.

"It is the first step that is the hardest" they say, so once I left home on my cycle, there wasn't too much danger of me turning back. Long nice drive with only my ipod for company, I made the initial 62 km in 3 hrs and the next 8 km up the hill in one hr. On my way back the first 22 km I could cover in an hour, but the next 40 km on NH-7 left me exhausted and frustated.(Ofcourse the last 10 km within Bangalore left me covered with soot and vehicle exhaust ) A strong wind blowing into you might be all well and nice if you are driving a motor powered vehicle, but on a cycle its a completely different ball game.

The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner

The tough of the track
With the wind
And the rain that's beating down on
Your back
Your heart's beating loud
And goes on getting louder
And goes on even more 'til the
Sound is ringing in your head
With every step you tread
And every breath you take
Makes you run never stop
Got to win got to run 'til you drop
Keep the pace hold the race
Your mind is getting clearer
You're over half way there
But the miles they never seem to end
As if you're in a dream
Not getting anywhere
It seems so futile

Run on and on
Run on and on
The loneliness of the long distance runner

I've got to keep running the course
I've got to keep running and win at
All costs
I've got to keep going be strong
Must be so determined and push myself on

Run over stiles across fields
Turn to look at who's on your heels
Way ahead of the field
The line is getting nearer but do
You want the glory that goes
You reach the final stretch
Ideals are just a trace
You feel like throwing the race
It's all so futile


-Iron Maiden

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"The Picnic and suchlike pandemonium"

Gerald Durrell is one of my favourite authors. Perhaps it is because he was in the company of such interesting characters that he could give us some of the best humour I've come across, but one can't take away the fact that the stories are told in such a simple and lucid manner that we fell we're shown the pictures of it happening rather than told stories of it.


" Oh mother!Don't be so old fashioned," said Margo, blowing lavish kisses back."After all, I've got an ex-husband and two children."
"It's by blowing kisses at strange sailors that you get ex-husbands and children," remarked Mother,grimly.


"Reggie was simply furious because Marjorie had not only eloped but had taken the baby and the nannie with her".

"It certainly seems like an overcrowded elopement"


There are some books that inevitably bring not a smile to your face, but make you erupt into laughter that you just can't hold back. I find this is one such book. Definitely one that I can curl up with on a pleasant saturday afternoon.

Book of saturday

If I only could deceive you
Forgetting the game
Every time I try to leave you
You laugh just the same

cause my wheels never touch the road
And the jumble of lies we told
Just returns to my back to weigh me down...

We lay cards upon the table
The backs of our hands
And I swear I like your people
The boys in the band

Reminiscences gone astray
Coming back to enjoy the fray
In a tangle of night and daylight sounds...

All completeness in the morning
Asleep on your side
Ill be waking up the crewmen
Banana-boat ride

She responds like a limousine
Brought alive on the silent screen
To the shuddering breath of yesterday...

Theres the succour of the needy
Incredible scenes
Ill believe you in the future
Your life and death dreams

As the cavalry of despair
Takes a stand in the ladys hair
For the favour of making sweet sixteen...

You make my life and times
A book of bluesy saturdays
And I have to chose.
-King crimson

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Game on

I remember telling some of my friends that ever since I played oblivion and fable back to back(Two of the most highly rated RPGs this generation), I was able to remember maps, routes etc better. Back to the time when I was playing Pro Evolution soccer overtime, I remember thinking of controlling my teammates on the soccer field too. So, even though a satire, I feel what's being said in here.

"It is weird, I know it's completly irrational, but I'm totally averse to big, industrial settings now. Anything that looks rusted out or rickety, it freaks me out. Whenever I walk into dark rooms, I instinctively reach for my flashlight and my gun, then I realize I don't actually carry either," said McEwen. "I was walking through a supermarket a few days after my HL2 marathon and I saw a bunch of first-aid kits on the floor. Someone had knocked them over by accident I guess. My first reaction though was 'oh shit! A bunch of medikits. Something fucking tough must be coming up soon!'It really scared me."


The best was saved for the last though

After reading the public report on FPSS, Thompson spoke out.

"FPSS proves that video games are responsible for all murders ever. In history."

When informed that First Person Shooters have only existed for the last 15-20 years, Thompson screamed that we were lying homosexuals, then sued us for criminal harrasment.

A Little Game

Once I had a little game
I liked to crawl back into my brain
I think you know the game I mean
I mean the game called 'go insane'
Now you should try this little game
Just close your eyes forget your name
Forget the world, forget the people
And we'll erect a different steeple
This little game is fun to do
Just close your eyes, no way to lose
And I'm right there, I'm going too
Release control, we're breaking through
-The Doors

Monday, August 27, 2007

Trouble with movies

One of the main reasons I haven't been able to watch too many movies is that my mind is just not able to bear the pounding on laws of physics some of these dish out. It seems quite ok to have these aberrations in animations which is why they are much more bearable.
Even ads for example- Most recently a Havell's advertisement for economy light bulbs. To depict its brightness it is shown to form a kind of halo over a child who's studying. Towards the end of the ad though, the way bulb formed a glowing sphere, meant that the intensity of bulb is not enough to even light up the wall that is meters from it. (And they were trying to say "aisi roshini..")

I'm glad to see that Someone else agrees with this and has taken it a few steps further.

Natural Science

[1. Tide Pools]

When the ebbing tide retreats
Along the rocky shoreline
It leaves a trail of tidal pools
In a short-lived galaxy
Each microcosmic planet
A complete society

A simple kind mirror
To reflect upon our own
All the busy little creatures
Chasing out their destinies
Living in their pools
They soon forget about the sea...

Wheels within wheels in a spiral array
A pattern so grand and complex
Time after time we lose sight of the way
Our causes can't see their effects

[2. Hyperspace]

A quantum leap forward
In time and in space
The universe learned to expand

The mess and the magic
Triumphant and tragic
A mechanized world out of hand

Computerized clinic
For superior cynics
Who dance to a synthetic band

In their own image
Their world is fashioned
No wonder they don't understand

[3. Permanent Waves]

Science, like nature
Must also be tamed
With a view towards its preservation
Given the same
State of integrity
It will surely serve us well

Art as expression
Not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations
Given the same
State of integrity
It will surely help us along

The most endangered species
The honest man
Will still survive annihilation
Forming a world
State of integrity
Sensitive, open and strong

Wave after wave will flow with the tide
And bury the world as it does
Tide after tide will flow and recede
Leaving life to go on as it was...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

why is it so difficult?

This is why we used to say beauty*brains = delta*.
But as further studies revealed, this equation is affected by another variable and after incorporating it into the equation, beauty * brains * existential probability = delta*.

Never Ending Math Equation

I'm the same as I was when I was 6 years old
And oh my God I feel so damn old
I don't really feel anything
On a plane, I can see the tiny lights below
And oh my God, they look so alone
Do they really feel anything?
Oh my God, I've gotta gotta gotta gotta move on
Where do you move when what you're moving from
Is yourself?
The universe works on a math equation
that never even ever really even ends in the end
Infinity spirals out creation
We're on the tip of its tongue, and it is saying
We aint sure where you stand
You aint machines and you aint land
And the plants and the animals, they are linked
And the plants and the animals eat each other
Oh my God and oh my cat
I told my Dad what I need
Well I know what I have and want
But I don't know what I need
Well, he said he said he said he said
"Where we're going I'm dead."

- Modest Mouse


*Delta was used in our calculus to denote an arbitrarily small number, or delta->0.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Shows like Indian idol / Big Boss ( first time I watched all of ten minutes of idol this sunday, I swear :|) , need I say more?

Act Naturally
They're gonna put me in the movie,
They're gonna make a big star out of me.
We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely,
And all I gotta do is act naturally

Well, I'll bet you I'm gonna be a big star,
Might win an Oscar you can never tell.
The movies gonna make me a big star,
'Cause I can play the part so well

Well I hope you'll come and see me in the movies,
Then I know that you will plainly see.
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time,
And all I gotta do is act naturally.

We'll make the scene about a man that's sad and lonely,
And begging down upon his bended knee.
I'll play the part and I won't need rehearsing,
All I gotta do is act naturally.

Well, I'll bet you I'm gonna be a big star,
Might win an Oscar you can never tell.
The movies gonna make me a big star,
'Cause I can play the part so well.

Well I hope you'll come and see me in the movies,
Then I know that you will plainly see.
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time,
And all I gotta do is act naturally.
-The Beatles

Now playing: The Beatles - [Help!] Act Naturally [foobar2000 v0.9.4.2]
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Surveys and its ilk

One thing that gets my goat each time is the number of so called "surveys" that keep cropping up. Forget the sample space and other considerations,(survey? line up those people hanging out at the mall) etc, but even the conclusions arrived at can be so irritatingly irrational that I just can't believe people still have any faith left in them.

Take as an example "this. I would take any conclusion reached by talking to 347 people (not randomly chosen again) and throw it in the salt bed. But, to come to such an awesome conclusion, especially when its quite obvious to anyone with a hint of braincells that most of the people who can become managers are old enough to have started their own families, it must take quite a lot of talent.

Then we have some genuinely misled conclusions arrived at .. for example this. I wouldn't be too harsh on this guy, because it was done for fun, not to sell copies or publish journals but still since he claims its research, here goes my rebuttal:

"the fact that people haven't noticed you've been changing your birthday can means they don't care about you enough to know that or that they have become too dependent on orkut.

If second were true, that they cared enough about you but become too dependant on orkut, they might not remember your actual birthday, but would've found out your game when you changed the birthday a second time.

Imagine if things like orkut didn't exist, you'd probably have got maybe one or two calls from your closest friends who remember the occasion or from your colleagues/classmates etc whom you interact with daily. But thats that. On the other hand an old acquaintance's face popping up on birthday list is just like running into him downtown which is out of your routine, so for old time's sake you do a courtesy call, wish him and find out what he's been upto etc etc. It's about keeping in touch, remembering that a guy called XYZ existed and I knew him once"

Twisted Logic

Sunlight opened up my eyes
To see for the first time it opened them up
And tonight rivers will run dry
Not for the first time rivers will run

Hundreds of years in the future
There could be computers looking for life on Earth
Don't fight for the wrong side
Say what you feel like
Say how you feel

You go backwards but then you go forwards again
You go backwards but then you go
Created then drilled and invaded
If somebody made it someone will mess it up
And you are not wrong to
Ask who does this belong to
It belongs to all of us

You go backwards but then you go forwards again
You go backwards but then you go forwards
You go backwards but then you go forwards again
You go backwards but then you go forwards


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Irony is....

When you get mails in the office saying " Just a friendly reminder" and you feel its anything but.


An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic ... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
'Well isn't this nice...'
And isn't it ironic ... don't you think

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

It's a traffic jam when you're already late
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

-Alanis Morisette